Harrison Silences Tribe Bats While Defense Goes Wild; Rangers 6, Indians 4
By Evan Matsumoto
Tuesday night marked the first game of the last series that Cleveland will play outside of the A.L. Central, signaling the impending end to a dismal season.
The Indians started the night tied with the Twins for fourth in the division at 17 ½ games back. The night ended in a loss for starter Ubaldo Jimenez, now 9-16 on the season, and the Indians dropping another game making their record 59-83.
A routine one-hop grounder to Kipnis proved costly in the bottom of the second. After fielding the ball, the throw to first got away from Russ Canzler to advance Adrian Beltre to second. David Murphy hit a fly ball to center that moved Beltre again before a Michael Young single drove him home.
Two doubles, a wild pitch—Jimenez’s 16th on the season—a walk and a sacrifice fly later, the Rangers took a 4-0 lead after the second inning.
Jimenez looked like the pitcher he was with the Rockies in the third. Immediately after getting Josh Hamilton to whiff at his third strike, Beltre waved at three straight pitches before sitting back down. Two walks were dealt from the righty before he served up another strikeout to Mitch Moreland to end the inning.
Harrison’s bid for perfection ended in the fourth when he walked Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Kipnis back-to-back to start the inning. Carlos Santana hit a soft grounder back up the middle and right into a double play that erased Kipnis from the board but left Choo standing on third. Canzler watched three straight pitches blow by him to quell any threat of putting the Tribe on the scoreboard.
Jason Donald hit a single in the fifth inning that broke up Harrison’s chance at a no-hitter. Thomas Neal hit into a fielder’s choice that, when all was said and done, left runners on the corners. With two outs in the book already, Ezequiel Carrera hit a single into shallow center to score Brent Lillibridge from third to put the Indians on the board.
Beltre started off the bottom of the fifth with a homerun to put the Rangers ahead 5-1. Another error on Donald, his second of the night, didn’t hurt the Tribe due to some bad base running by Young that ended in a double play.
Canzler hit a single to left and then beat out a relay from center on Matt LaPorta’s first double of the season to bring the Tribe within three runs, making the score 5-2 in favor of Texas.
For the second inning in a row, Texas answered Cleveland’s run with one of its own. Leonys Martin hit a double to center of reliever Cody Allen, stole third and then was driven in by a single from Elvis Andrus to put the Rangers up 6-2.
Scott Barnes replaced Allen after Allen put two men on base and got a third to ground into a fielder’s choice, but ultimately exited with runners on first and third. Barnes got out of the jam and stranded two Rangers on base.
In the bottom of the eighth inning Choo walked, Kipnis singled to center, Carlos Santana narrowly avoided grounding into his third double play of the night—instead he hit into a fielder’s choice—and the Tribe managed to plate another run off a weak grounder from Canzler, making the score 6-3.
A short scare for the Rangers presented itself when Canzler scored on a Casey Kotchman single that left two men on base. Texas breezed through a couple pitchers trying to get out of the top of the inning but their elevated heart rates subsided when Michael Brantley, who was pinch hitting for Donald, struck out looking to end the inning with the score at 6-4.
The Indians went 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to end the game and solidify last place in the division.
Photo: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images